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2022 Election: Dan Johnson

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  • Daniel Johnson
Name on ballot:

Dan Johnson

Running for:

State House – District 12

Political party:


Campaign website:

Current occupation:

Project Manager, Construction & Renewables



Previous job history:

No answer submitted

Previous elected office, if any:

No answer submitted

Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

I was born and raised in Hawaii and personally have experienced the struggles that a lot of families go through to get by. After graduating UH Manoa with a degree in Finance, I’ve commenced a successful career as a project manager in all types of construction. Beyond the essential nature of managing a budget and getting things done on schedule, my experiences there interacting with various levels of the Counties, State, and Federal Governments have prepared me for how the system operates, and also alerted me to other inefficiencies.

What is the most pressing issue facing residents in your district and how would you address the problem?

Our adjusted cost of living is the worst in the nation and to couple that with the most ridiculous housing costs, we are on a path to a bleak future for local families without correction. In District 12 for Upcountry Maui specifically, we are also faced with water infrastructure issues and shortages. To correct this we will need legislators in office who are concerned more with the quality of life for local families over the established controlling interests and typical talking points.

I specifically want to target reducing the cost of living through reduced taxation and encouragement of small business (to be addressed further below). We will need to allocate some state funds toward increasing Upcountry Maui’s water supply and distribution. This could include repairs/upgrades to existing pump systems, and also new collection via wells. The state also needs to properly award the water management leases to an entity without a conflict of interest.

Rising inflation has significantly worsened Hawaii’s already high cost of living. What can be done at the state level to help Hawaii residents cope with high consumer prices?

We need to permanently remove GET charges on food sales. We are one of only 4 states in the nation that effectively apply a full sales tax to food (32 states don’t tax food at all). We also should temporarily remove the fuel surcharge until the federal government can fix the supply issues it’s causing. We also need to let small businesses breathe, and reduce restrictions of enterprise and remove red tape in our own government.

Hawaii’s rising gasoline prices are among the highest in the nation. Should Hawaii lower or temporarily suspend state taxes on gasoline to help ease the pain at the pump?

Absolutely. We need to temporarily remove the fuel surcharge that every tax payer currently pays per gallon at the pumps. Moving forward, we should also look to reduce that tax as our state taxed its citizens $148M last year for fuel purchases (which by the way, Maui County pays more State fuel tax than other islands).

Do you support or oppose efforts to slow or limit the number of tourists to Hawaii? Please explain.

It really depends what specifically the plan is to reduce tourism. While I do believe that our economy is too dependent on tourism and believe we need to diversify into more industries, I respect that it does provide roughly 40% of our jobs which many families depend on. However, as a principle of economic freedom I cannot stand by some ambiguous anti-tourism policy for that purpose alone. I do believe that we need better management to prevent over-tourism and provide better education to avoid the damages that it can cause to our island and perception in the population.

Can Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy be diversified, and, if so, what can state government do to support the effort?

Our state needs to encourage locally owned agriculture and food production. When Hawaii entered as a state it was primarily an agricultural producer, but we’ve shifted to be more than 90% reliant on imports. We can do this by incentivizing locally owned businesses and farmers to expand their operations, and by financing low interest loans for new start ups.

I do believe that this is not only a good industry to invest in to create more jobs and local produce, but I’d like to get to the point of exporting food so that it will reduce more of our import costs. As I say this, take a moment to think about what 90% imports mean? This means that we are paying the shipping cost of those same barges that bring our food, to also go back to the mainland empty because we don’t produce enough to fill the ships.

What is your plan to increase affordable housing in Hawaii, and to help the counties deal with homelessness?

While we hear about affordable housing programs which require further development of our land and force developers to throw a few cheap houses together as a part of larger projects, there is very little done to utilize the existing housing already built. To assist with housing prices, I’d like to propose a tax credit or a capital gains forgiveness to property owners who sell to a Hawaii resident. This would create a buffer between wealthy outsiders who are willing to pay over a property’s asking price, and local families who are scraping together an enormous down payment.

What would you propose to help protect Hawaii residents’ health during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic?

From here on out, I believe that we have surpassed this issue. Moving forward, we should focus on the economic health of our citizens and small businesses in recovery from the unprecedented lockdowns. We should resort to individual responsibility to address this and return the government to a guidance role rather than authoritative mandates.

Hawaii isn’t likely to see a repeat of this year’s $2 billion revenue surplus which allowed higher-than-normal spending on state programs and projects. If elected, what will your top spending priorities be?

This sentiment speaks to how over taxed we are. We also have misallocation of funds, and can likely reduce taxation on our population in general. We should spend our funds on the sectors that need attention, such as agriculture, education, and our crumbling infrastructure.

What, if anything, should state government do in response to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade?

Our next legislative session should revisit what the definition of viable life is, and what emergency medial procedures can remain. Currently, HRS 453-16 defines an abortion as only applying to a nonviable fetus, and the state shall not interfere with an abortion necessary to protect the life of the mother. I agree with this in nature. However, there may be an societal push to have voluntary abortions of viable fetuses protected, which I would not agree with if it were to come to discussion.

What should state government do to support and improve public education in Hawaii?

We need to reduce the cost of living for all residents (teacher’s included). We need to audit all departments and reduce waste across the board. After doing so, we should establish appropriate compensation for state educators, refurbish facilities, and also invest into more STEM programs for our children to be better prepared for the technological future.

What reforms, if any, would you propose to make local government more transparent to the public?

We need term stricter limits on elected officials. I would also be in support of public financial disclosures of elected officials. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” – Matthew 6:21

Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and why?

It is very clear that the majority of the people do not support this pet project of the elites.

Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?

I’m a father of two, a husband of a loving wife, and just a regular citizen. It is for them and for other families like mine that I’m stepping forward to fight for the people that call this beautiful place home, and to make Hawaii affordable, safe, and prosperous.

View more candidate questionnaires or see more 2022 Hawaii elections coverage.
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